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Spain: Thousands in student protests against education cuts
Hundreds of thousands of students took to the streets of Spanish cities on 29 February to protest against the right-wing Popular Party government's swingeing austerity cuts in education. A reported 70,000 students marched in Barcelona and 60,000 in Valencia. The peaceful demonstrations were, however, subject to police violence.
The cuts come at time when unemployment in Spain has reached 23% of the working population - the highest in Europe. For young people the situation is particularly acute, with over 50% of 16-24 year olds jobless.
A student leader remarked: "They are making cuts in public education, they are giving us no option to work, and on top of this when we protest democratically they beat us with complete impunity."
The student protests form part of the wider anti-austerity protests associated with the M15 movement - so called after thousands of people occupied city centres starting on 15 May 2011 emulating the huge social protests in Tunisia and Egypt last year. Mass trade union demos also took place in the days preceding the students' action.
Clearly the students, M15 community protests and the trade union movement should link up their struggles into a common campaign to defeat the government's capitalist austerity measures and to demand that IU (United Left) links up with others to fight for an alternative government of the left.
CWI in Spain demands:
- Stop police repression against the youth
- Immediate freedom for students unfairly arrested
- No to cuts
- Defend public education
- A general strike of students throughout Spain
- Unity of workers and students
- Stop the sacking of teachers
- Public resources for public education, now
In The Socialist 7 March 2012:
Fighting the government's attacks
International Women's Day
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news and analysis